Looks like the 49ers tried to make a move at quarterback before the draft.
Prior to free agency, the 49ers inquired with the Jets on what it would take to make a trade for Sam Darnold happen, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
That confirms that the 49ers interest in Darnold was not just “rumors” and had legitimacy to it. The 49ers actually dodged a bullet here as they are better off taking one of the top quarterback prospects with the third pick.
Still, the 49ers’ interest in Darnold reveals a few things.
For starters, it proves all along that Kyle Shanahan is fed up with Jimmy Garoppolo. They went as far as to tap the Jets on the shoulder about Darnold, who is not much better than Garoppolo.
If the 49ers were inquiring about Darnold, then it is practically certain they inquired about Matthew Stafford, Deshaun Watson and even Teddy Bridgewater. Those are just the quarterbacks who have been reported about. Imagine the under-the-table talks the 49ers could have had with other teams.
Since the 49ers were seriously inquiring about Darnold, it is a strong indication that Garoppolo will not be on the team in 2021. I have been adamant that Garoppolo is going to be traded during the draft since January, and the 49ers’ interest in Darnold gives credence to that. There is no way that the 49ers would have had Darnold and Garoppolo on the roster. It just doesn’t work with their contracts.
Garoppolo is as good as gone no matter who they draft with the third pick.
Speaking of the third pick, interest in Darnold could also reveal a bit of who the 49ers want to draft. Of all of the top prospects at quarterback, Darnold most resembles Mac Jones. Now Darnold is a bit more mobile than Jones, but both are predominantly pocket quarterbacks.
This would fall in line with all of the words being put out there that Shanahan will want Jones at No. 3. I am not putting much stock into this. I am just considering what could be a possibility and throwing out a potential connection should Shanahan end up taking Jones.
One way or another, Garoppolo will be history soon.